Puttin our lives in boxes

I chopped it off, it's true!

Moving has been a bitter sweet experience. We can't take much with us, so we are having to sell and pack up most everything. We have sold everything but Derek's desk. As of today we have all of our decorations packed away. Tomorrow we are tackling all of our cooking stuff we aren't taking with us. We are excited to start over, but sad to leave so many things behind.

Christmas was lovely. We spent good quality time with both families. Santa was so nice to us as well as our families. We sure do love them.

And i sure miss this little guy. Looking at these pictures makes me cry. He is seriously the sweetest little guy. Derek and I miss him TONS. I had my last day of work on the 23rd. These are some pics of our last day together.



He is so fun and full of so much energy all the time. I've never recieved more hugs and kisses in my life than when I watched Zander. His new nanny better be good to those kids or she'll get an earful from me. ;)


what's trending in the walker home?

Well hey guys,
Here to report an update on the Walkers, this is Derek speaking. Here are 10 things that been trending in the Walker home lately:

#1 Not-school
I graduated from the University of Utah exactly 3 days ago... assuming something didn't go horribly wrong on any of my finals. Needless to say, it's been nice being done. I have a nice month break and then jump right back in. A month will suffice.

#2: Vampire Weekend
The band. They are kinda crazy cool.

#3: Fear Factor
It's back! Amanda used to have a lifelong dream of being on that show. What a cutie. Unfortunately that dream is now dead. Her new dream is to watch the show without being on it. So far we are accomplishing that dream.

#4: Buddha
I'm reading a book called Siddartha about the life of Buddha. As you all know, I served in Thailand, where it's 98% buddhist. I made a mental note to get to know Buddhism via literature when I get home. Therefore, I am reading Siddartha. Also, I have been home over 2 years now!

#5: Tegan and Sara
The band. I have gone through phases of almost all kinds of music throughout my life, but indie-girl band music has not been one. Well, now it is.

#6: Arrested Development
We just started watching the 3rd season again.

#7: Packing and selling our stuff
I love getting rid of stuff. It feels good.

#8: Longboarding
Amanda pulled out my longboard from under the bed and we had fun riding around our kitchen together. Well, we tried to ride together.

#9: Our NY apartment
We signed the lease! I designed our apartment on Google Sketchup and Amanda furnished it.

#10: The NBA
Also back! We have a tradition with my family where we all choose who we think is going to win the championship in the preseason. Not who we WANT to win, just who we THINK will win. Amanda chose the NY Knicks and I chose the Miami Heat. If we are all being honest with ourselves, I will most likely be right. Right?

These are all the trends I can think of right now. Trends change everyday, so stay tuned. Hope you are all doing well.



That moment when you shouldn't be laughing

Tonight we saw the amazing Forgotten Carols. I love it. It brings such a special Christmas spirit. But tonight I probably ruined that spirit for about 20 other audience members who could hear me dying laughing. There was a special needs girl in the audience (and turns out I actually peer tutored her in HS. I saw her after the show). She yelled sometimes. Well good ol' Michael McLean at one point in the show says, "It's ok, just let it all out!". Of course at that exact moment this certain audience member yells long and loud. It couldn't have been timed better. I was shaking. I had tears running down my face that was buried in derek's jacket. I was plugging my nose and covering my mouth as tight as I could. I'd hear my brother in law giggle then I'd lose it again ten minutes after it had passed. He'd hear me giggle or see me shake, and he'd crack up. I'm laughing just sitting here writing this.

Probably one of my more immature moments, but I seriously could not contain myself. I'm sure everyone behind and in front of us that could hear us cracking up are at home talking about the immature people they were sitting by. I'd like to be able to say that I'm glad I'll never see any of them ever again, but unfortunately two of them are in my family's ward. Whoops.


Why do I do this to myself?

Singing in church. It's a crazy thing. I get more nervous to sing in church than anywhere else. I've agreed to singing in 3 different wards in the last two months. Today, I decided, I've gotta stop. I get so stressed, so nervous. Yes, I can sing, but when my vocal chords are shaken up with nerves running throughout them, it's not the same. Yes, this is a vent. I hate the nerves, I hate feeling mad at myself after, it drives me all crazy. So if you were thinking about asking me to sing in your ward, my answer is no.

Ok, all better. Phew! I feel so relieved, and really don't want to put myself through it again even though I know it's good for me and good to share my talents. I sometimes think it's not worth it. I am amazed with people who can do something like that without getting nervous. I always believe the more you do something, the less nervous you get but I was definitely more nervous today than I have ever been. It's all a mental game. I wish I had all control over my brain and thoughts. They should come out with a pill to have that control. I'm rambling. I'm stopping.

I want to leave you with sharing my gratitude for good friends. We spent some time with friends last night. I love my friends so much. We don't spend time with friends often, but we love when we get to. And I'm glad they're finally dating boys so we can bring our men along. Everything is better with Derek around. I also need to give a little shout out to Derek. He has to put up with my anxiety attacks before I sing. He's a trooper. Really.


"You're a brave soul"

Hey Dudes and Dudettes
As our time in Utah is winding down, the time until we arrive in NY is also winding down. As most of you know, I am doing a Masters program in Real Estate Development at NYU. Whenever I tell people this, I get lots of mixed reactions. Today's blogpost is focused on this issue.

Most people are cool with me doing real estate (at least they appear that way), but a surprisingly big group of people will respond with, "are you sure you want to do that?" "Wow, you're a brave soul for doing real estate right now!" "Isn't that kinda scary?" You get the point.

Now let me explain why I love when people say things like that to me...

First of all, real estate development will never go away. People will always need places to live and places to work. There will always be schools, hospitals, stores, churches, etc. Yes, development is slow right now, and will be for a while. The good thing is that this scares people, especially people my age, from going into things real estate related. What does that mean? More market share for me! Enrollment in graduate real estate programs are down huge across the country. I couldn't be happier.

On a side note, for those who argue that the earth is becoming too developed, first of all that's false (unless you live in Phoenix or Vegas, etc), second of all, sustainable development (green building) is rapidly becoming a high priority for countries all around the world due to global warming... sustainability is my concentration.

The opportunities are plentiful now, even with a down economy. But people are too scared to try. Not to mention when the market is back in full swing and our generation is at our prime...where will the leaders and innovators in real estate be? There certainly won't be many, cause they are all too scared to study it in school. That is exactly my point.

Also, another thing to clear up about real estate. It bothers me when I see books and seminars and whatever where the author talks about how they got into real estate just because it was an easy way to get money and how they wanted sooo bad to have a rich person lifestyle. Just so everyone knows, that's not why I'm doing real estate, I'm doing it so that I can single handedly stop global warming. joking

PS we got an apartment on Roosevelt Island, right off the upper east side of manhattan! see picture above.

Love you guys,


Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

I mostly enjoy cooking, but don't rave about recipes often, even though I find many I like. But guys, this is a MUST try. I'm in love with it. I made it for a family dinner and it was a hit. I made it again last night for Derek's birthday dinner and thoroughly enjoyed it. This recipe
would have completely overwhelmed me a year ago, but it's so do-able, I promise! Give it a try!


  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 4 large tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 tablespoon packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini
  • 8 ounces fresh tortellini pasta
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a 5 quart Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove sausage and dr
    ain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
  2. Saute onions and garlic in drippings. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. Skim fat from the soup. Stir in zucchini and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.

Recipe found here.

a little peek at the kiddos I nanny. I don't think they come any cuter.
Photography by this amazing lady


2 MO


Mustache Mania Going Away party and Derek's 23rd Birthday!

Friday night was a good start to some birthday partying! We had a blast!
Derek's dear friends threw us and D's bestie Stephen a going away party.
Mustaches were very present and very impressive. We chatted, played in the gym, ate yummies, found out some great friends are pregnant, and of course the boys had to watch Grind. We didn't end up getting home until 4:30! Must say that's the hardest partying we've done since we got married, and we had an absolute blast.
Yesterday was D's 23rd birthday! I had every intention of waking up bright and early to decorate and make a breakfast to wake him up to, but needless to say I couldn't wake up with only a few hours of sleep goin' for me. We slept in. Miracle. He still got his breakfast in bed at 10:30, a little scavenger hunt for presents which included his long awaited Kindle, a 2 hour nap, and dinner at Bajio! It was a very relaxing and enjoyable day. I had hoped for less sleeping but neither of us regret it one bit. We had a birthday dinner with the Walkers the night before as well. It's been a great week/weekend! So sad it's over!

Christmas is just around the corner. We're loving the music, having the few decorations we have up, reading by the tree, sipping hot cocoa, and getting ready for NYC. Traditions have been a lot harder to live up to than I thought. Especially with all the craziness of D finishing his last semester, full time work, working at the temple, moving, and not having kids to do many of the children traditions with.
I'd love to hear some of your Christmas traditions. Do share! If anyone even reads this anymore. Ha.


Penny for your thoughts?

Yesterday the power was out all day! from 3 AM to about 5 PM. At one point, the update message on Rocky Mtn Power said that up to 56,000 households are without power throughout Utah. Holy freak dude!

As you may have guessed by looking at this picture, the picture is of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. I am currently reading a book about Lincoln's assassination. It is very interesting. My kind mother-in-law recommended the movie "The Conspirators" to us, which is about the assassination. Have any of you seen it? Do you have any other recommendations for conspiracy movies? Maybe we can watch it tomorrow for my birthday. By the way, it's my birthday tomorrow! I can't believe I have been alive for 35 years!

Love y'all


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